Credit Suisse U.S. Stock-Trading Head Leaves in Revamp

Credit Suisse Group AG CEO Brady Dougan
Brady Dougan, chief executive officer of Credit Suisse Group AG, is seeking to reduce costs and assets as the bank adjusts to a slowdown in trading activity and higher capital requirements. Photographer: Gianluca Colla/Bloomberg

Matthew DeSalvo, who ran Credit Suisse Group AG’s top-ranked stock sales and trading unit in the U.S., left the firm this week as the company merged the business with electronic trading.

DeSalvo, 53, said in a telephone interview that he will probably look for another job in stock trading. He declined to discuss the reasons for his departure. The bank’s U.S. stock unit has ranked first in the industry for the past two years, up from fifth in 2008, Zurich-based Credit Suisse said in a Feb. 9 presentation, citing consultant Greenwich Associates.

“I’m a manager, I’m a leader, and if somebody wants to end up being in the top tier and can use me, I’m sure something will come together,” said DeSalvo, who joined Credit Suisse in 2006 from Morgan Stanley, where he had worked since 1985. “I’m already getting calls.”

Credit Suisse, Switzerland’s second-biggest bank, told staff in a memo this week that Dan Mathisson, who heads electronic trading, assumes responsibility for block trading -- where large orders of stocks are filled by brokers using phones or other methods. In electronic trading, computers handle the orders. Credit Suisse also ranked No. 1 in U.S. electronic trading last year, where it has stood since 2008, according to the Feb. 9 presentation.

“We are combining the U.S. high-touch and low-touch execution businesses into a single execution and trading group,” the bank said. The memo, which didn’t mention DeSalvo, was signed by Steve Garnett and Mike Paliotta, the bank’s co-heads of equities for the Americas. Traders magazine reported the news earlier on its website.

Cutting Costs

Chief Executive Officer Brady Dougan, who announced two rounds of job cuts last year, is seeking to reduce costs and assets as the bank adjusts to a slowdown in trading activity and higher capital requirements.

Last year, revenue in the equities division, which includes stock trading as well as options and electronic trading, fell by 19 percent to 4.74 billion Swiss francs ($5.25 billion).

Credit Suisse said it would merge teams that provide research and analytics on stocks and bonds under Stefano Natella, global head of equity research, and Eric Miller, head of fixed-income and economic research.

A Credit Suisse spokeswoman, Katherine Herring, declined to comment on DeSalvo’s departure.

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